Police Officers in DeKalb County Arrested on Suspicion of Selling Car Accident Reports
DEKALB COUNTY, GA- Ajc.com writes that police officers in DeKalb County were arrested earlier this week for allegedly selling accident reports. The two suspects, each of whom have been with the department for nine years, have been accused of violating their oath to the office and computer theft. One of the officers is also facing charges for bribery.*
According to reports, another officer discovered the crime and alerted supervisors. The following investigation found that the suspects sold thousands of records from motor vehicle crashes to third-parties. “Illegal runners” apparently purchase such reports in order to solicit people involved in automobile accidents. Such runners usually operate on behalf of unscrupulous attorneys in order to secure representation. In some cases, runners may even offer accident victims money or gifts in order to do so as well. The practice is called barratry, and though it is considered unethical and punishable by the Georgia bar as well as prosecutable in the State, unfortunately, people do it anyway. We caution the public to always be careful about accepting calls from attorneys who they have not called first.
In the above-referenced case, a crash victim had contacted the police department after receiving a strange phone call in which the caller asked him a series of questions regarding whether he had been to a chiropractor. The victim also happened to be a police officer and started questioning the caller. The person then seemed nervous and hung up.
Georgia enacted a law in 2014 that prohibits people from selling information about crashes. Both of the officers are now on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of their charges. The department stated that it would not tolerate misconduct from their officers. The law is designed to protect citizens’ privacy. The incident is still under investigation, and police are requesting that anyone with relevant information contact detectives.
Fellow officers in DeKalb are hoping that the case comes to a swift conclusion and that the two officers have not damaged the public’s trust in the police force. One police chief expressed her disappointment in the crime and stated that these individuals do not represent officers around the nation who are working to protect the public.
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Sources:https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/breaking-dekalb-officers-accused-selling-accident-reports-arrested-placed-leave/6G3MenSHLdtkABu30HfEtI/ and https://www.11alive.com/article/news/crime/dekalb-officers-arrested/85-0f0adcb0-b11a-4bac-9d5c-5d54ec40f1d1